Best Free Things to Do in New York
According to Forbes magazine, New York City was one of the most visited cities in the world in 2013. Its five boroughs contain one of the world’s largest centres of finance, media, film, music, fashion and culture! But while almost any traveler would love to discover the City That Never Sleeps, it can be quite costly to do so. Besides flights, accommodation and meals, you still have to save up to see major city attractions! And while many of them are worth the price, there are a few spots that are worth a visit – and are completely free! We’ve put together a list of 10 to help you out when you plan your future getaway to the Big Apple.
1. Central Park
One of the city’s iconic landmarks, Central Park is a must for anyone passing through New York. Of course, as a public park, it should be of free entrance but Central Park is no ordinary park! It is filled with statues, free events and sites such as Strawberry fields, the “Imagine” mosaic where John Lennon was killed, and “the pond” made famous by The Catcher in the Rye.
2. African Burial Ground Memorial Site
A construction project that began in 1991 discovered an old burial ground of slaves with over 400 caskets found from a time when New York was the city with the most African slaves outside of Charleston, South Carolina. Today, a memorial site was built that retells the story of African-American history in the city.
3. Grand Central Partnership Walking Tours
Take a walking tour through the city led by two historians through major city attractions such as the Chrysler building, Grand Central Terminal and Pershing Square. This award-winning tour will take you through the Grand Central neighbourhood for 90 minutes every Friday of the year at 12:30pm.
4. New York Public Library
Inaugurated over 100 years ago, New York’s most famous library is free to explore. Walk through the various stunning reading rooms and witness exhibitions of exquisite pieces of literature including a copy of the original Declaration of Independence, a Gutenburg Bible and an incredible Map Division containing over 431,000 maps and 16,000 atlases. Free tours leave on the hour from the information desk.
5. Staten Island Ferry
Everyone wants to see the Statue of Liberty but ferry tours start at $12 per ticket. The Staten Island Ferry, however, used for commuters cuts across the New York Habor and is free of charge.
6. Concerts in Prospect Park
Travelling to New York in the summer? Prospect Park in Brooklyn hosts free concerts every Saturday and on some other evenings throughout the season. With a variety of acts every week, you can enjoy free music or take a stroll through the scenic park.
The Museum of Modern Art stays open until 8 pm every Friday and gives free tickets to anyone who enters after 4 pm. This incredible museum, famed all over the world, is a must stop for anyone visiting this beautiful city.
8. Brooklyn Bridge
One of the most magnificent bridges cutting across New York’s East River, it was built in the 19th century and links Manhattan and Brooklyn. The path in the centre of the bridge is perfect for cyclists and pedestrians who wish to enjoy the outdoors and take in the beautiful Manhattan skyline.
9. Brewery Tour
You have three options here. One: take a free tour of the Chelsea Brewing Company and get a complimentary sample beer at the end. Two: take a free tour of the world-renowned Brooklyn Brewery on weekends. Three: do both – it won’t cost you a penny!
10. The High Line
Once a part of an elevated railway, the High Line has now been transformed into a beautiful garden free to receive tourists and New Yorkers for a pleasant walk away from the city noise.